Blogger says this is post # 500 for me, but as I've said before, Blogger's count is way off, I've done a good number more than that.

Spent the evening playing a rousing game of Pass the Pigs with the gang - Mossy sent it to me for my birthday, its basically the best game ever. Swine and gambling. Some guy some where is sitting on his own private beach because he thought of that before I could. Some day I'm going to think of something somebody else never had, and then I'll have my own beach, too. Maybe. It will probably involve swine.

Didn't sleep much as I'm still on the night shifts schedule, and then it was meetings all morning, and after lunch as well. Then free time. We're at a resort type place so I decided to spring for my first ever massage.

I swear between that and the sushi I'm becoming a full-fledged fru-fru adult. Ugh. I need to go skiing or wakeboarding or something, right quick.

Anyway it really didn't do that much for me. I told her a good 4 times she could use more pressure, and she did, but it never seemed like it was quite doing the trick. Very relaxing, but not the deep muscle kneading I was really hoping for. I'm thinking perhaps I need one of those small asian women walking around on my back to really do the trick. Maybe I was spoiled by Jen the chiropractor's daughter. Anyway it was weird to have someone touch you so much, after so many years with next to no touch at all.

Tonight is dinner and more meetings, hopefully a half decent night's sleep before tomorrow morning's worship / meetings / driving back to the city.


Dinner was burgers from the grill, then more meetings till late this evening, where more pigs were passed. Right now everyone's alseep, and I'm probably the only human being awake in about 20 miles. Which is a distinctly different feeling from being awake in the middle of the night with a couple million people in the same predicament within that same radius.

Tomorrow we're hiking up some hill for a "mountain-top" morning deal (there are no mountains in Pennsylvania), then driving back in the afternoon. I like driving through Penn. because you pick up a lot of country stations, and although I don't know most of the songs anymore, I still enjoy driving long highways while listening to country.


Off to middle of nowhere Pennsylvania for the weekend. Youth leaders annual summer planning retreat. Why we needed to drive this far from the city to do it is beyond me. We're in the middle of the woods and this place doesn't even have a pool. I guess we'll be focused at least. I'm voting that we return to the beach location next year.

Worked the first part of the week then took last night off as it was the annual summer social for the New York office - they rent out a club and we all do our best to drink / party them into the ground. This time was at Pacha - really weird joint on the far west side, but it was good to see old faces and meet some new ones. I knew my sleep schedule was going to be screwed up for the weekend - I had woken up in the afternoon with just enough time to shower and head to the club - so I decided to be good and not after-party with the masses. All the same, I only got about 3 hours sleep and I was wide awake at 4am this morning. Waited for the world to wake up then I went and got some shopping done and had yet another sushi lunch at Whole Foods. Kinda growing on me.

Came home with all the good intentions of putting together the new dresser I picked up at Ikea earlier in the week, and instead finished my latest Netflix - Running Scared - and took a nap. It was thunderstorming out so it was perfect weather for sleeping on the couch. Woke up, packed, picked up Russ, Libby, and Liane at the Path, and we made the drive out here.

I'm supposed to be leading worship this weekend but my guitar practice has been about as dead as my worship practices lately, with this idiotic work schedule, so I'm feeling particularly under-prepared for that. Sometimes the only prayer I can muster is asking for the desire to pray more. If God meets us where we're most lost, I should be finding Him pretty soon, I figure.


In his heart a man plans his course,
but the Lord determines his steps.
- Proverbs 16:9

When I was growing up - a kid, a teenager - I always thought I'd marry in my early 20's. Mom and Dad married in their early 20's. So did everyone else's moms and dads. When I went to weddings, that's how old the people getting married were - early 20's. By my late 20's I'd be entering parenthood, perhaps even twice over. I'd have a house and a couple cars. And a couple dogs. I'd be happily married.

This was the way the world worked, and this was my reality. This was how my life was going to be.

I still remember the first day of college. My aunt drops me off, gives me some cash, made a wise remark about how I probably was more than ready for her to leave, and then she took off. And I was left there, surrounded by a couple thousand mostly Christian girls. For the next 4 years.

How I screwed that one up, I'll never know. And yet somehow, before it all began, I already knew...

Later that morning at the first general assembly, the ancient dean of students crowed for us her centuries old mantra: "Look to your left, look to your right, your future mate may be in sight." Or something similar. It rhymed, I remember that much. She told us 80% of us would marry a fellow student of the institution. For many of us, that meant that, although we hadn't met them yet, our future mate was sitting in the same nervous room with us, at that very moment. Probably with their parents still sitting next to them too, helping them make their way through day 1. Not me, though - I was on my own, standing in the back of the auditorium, not knowing a soul in the room, and ready to do this college thing. And I was also vehemently opposed to the idea that I would be marrying someone I met there.

To this day, I don't know why that was. Perhaps it was just the rebellious streak I was on at that age - I wouldn't be grouped with the herd - I suppose. But, deep down, somewhere, I knew that my future mate wasn't going to be someone from the 4 years to come. I knew it right then and there. And time would prove me right. But it still took time for my preconceptions about my future to change.

Being surrounded by that many girls, and being free from an upbringing that had made girls all but taboo, and being the generally attractive single guy I was, I was soon dating. I enjoyed it, having a girl actually interested in you as a person - you above any other guy walking around that place. Someone to sit with at breakfast. Someone to go to the movies with, someone to study with. Someone to talk to on the phone when you were lying on your bed falling asleep, a few hundred yards away from her on hers. It was nice. And I still knew that I wouldn't be marrying someone from there. I had my doubts at times - but for the most part it was straight knowledge, strong as the first day, standing alone in the back of that auditorium. I think maybe it was somewhere around the middle of my college experience when I first started to realize that I might be in my mid-twenties when I was getting married, not the early 20's I had always imagined.

Pretty soon college spat me out, the same way it took me in - completely alone and ready to take on the next thing coming my way. Senior year went way south for me in the relationship realm - you can't go much lower than a painful breakup with the girl of your dreams. For one thing, you learn to stop having those kind of dreams.

I knew coming out of that storm that I needed to be single for a while just to get back to a healthy emotional state. I had been pretty heavily invested, so it took me a while - maybe a year or two. Not more than two, I don't think.

Around the end of that second year out of college, I moved to the NYC area and began another new chapter. Still alone. Busy with life. Not really thinking about the fact that I was fast burning through my mid twenties. And then they were gone.

I woke up this morning and I was 28. Officially in my late twenties, and as alone as I was 6 years ago leaving college, and as I was 10 years ago starting college. Every bit as far from where I thought I'd be in life as I was from it back then, before reaching the preconceived age. Probably a lot further. I'm not saying I wish things had worked out differently - I wasn't nearly ready for marriage in my early 20's. But now I sometimes wonder in passing whether or not I'll be married in my early 30's. There's almost zero chance it would happen before then, and if it doesn't happen by then, chances are it won't happen at all. Now, 10 years wiser than I was when I knew there was no one in that auditorium for me, I wonder if there's anyone out there for me at all. I don't know if there is or not.

Somehow I'm ok with that. Its not an easy thing to explain, quite frankly. I am content with life, but I still feel there is something missing - and not in that way like I'm missing out on High Def television or a leather couch or something else I could go out and buy. Something missing in that way that makes each life experience - waking up, going to work, eating and drinking, relaxing and playing, going to sleep - makes each of them feel somewhat incomplete. And I believe they really are, because we get the most complete joy out of anything when we can share it with someone.

Now, even if there is someone out there, it will be different from what I always had imagined. There won't be the more carefree vitality and animated passion of young love. I'll be older, I'll have seen more of the world, I'll have been an adult on my own - longer than my parents ever were. And unless she's a younger girl, she'll likely be much the same way. Its like this: the other day I sat on the side of my bed and put my shoes on the way I always sit on the side of my bed and put my shoes on. And then it just kind of hit me - I realized that, if she's out there, she'll likely never lay there and watch me and love the fact that this is just what I do - the way she might have if she had been with me through the twenties and seen me sit there to put my shoes on every day. She'll have her own things like that too - maybe the way she puts her makeup on or answers the phone or folds the laundry - things that I might never stop to love and appreciate about her because we missed younger years together. We'll have missed out on at least some of what we might have imagined.

You do lose your imagination with age. I never used to believe it - its just a little at first but then it starts to go faster. Reality replaces it - cold, hard reality. You realize that your ideas about the future are probably much more accurate, but you also realize something else important. You realize that the you of 10 years ago had absolutely no idea where you would be in 10 years. And dangerous hope springs from this, because that means the you of right now might just - despite all its lost inspirations and gained substantialities - it might just not have any idea where the you of 10 years from now will be.

When I was growing up - a kid, a teenager - I always thought I'd marry in my early 20's.

Boy was I wrong.
The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.
- John 3:8


The problem with working nights is that you have to try to sleep during the day, which no one should have to do. I have enough trouble trying to sleep at night, for crying out loud. Usually I hit the wall around 4am or so, but then you just push through and by the time 8am comes you're driving home wide a-freakin-wake. When you do fall asleep you wake up 4 hours later with a headache like you only slept for 5 minutes. Then its time to blog, shower, and go start the magic all over again.

And for the life of me I can not find a better project to save me from this...project.

Messes with your weekends too, when you have them, when you try to be up while normal people are up. Friday night was out at Naked Lunch with D and some work kids, Saturday was struggling to say awake until I picked up Darin and Sonny at the airport on the way back from their missions trip to Gulfport, MS. Sunday was a 9am exec committee meeting for the youth group leaders, church, final prep meeting for the youth group missions trip, and then over to Cregan and Mindi's with Jenny for a bit. And that evening a bunch of peeps from the Hoboken church came over for the annual St. Anne's festival celebrated on our roof. Basically we get food from the festival and then bring it upstairs to chill away from the sweaty festival people. And usually there's throwing of Zeppoles off of our roof but this year the line was too long for them. The lengths we go to for tradition.

Monday I made a run out to Ikea. Best time to go, found the sheet set I needed in 5 minutes, grabbed some impulse-buy candles, and found a nice replacement for my dresser, which is coming apart right on schedule - 6 years after I got it at Ikea. Checked out bed-frames briefly too - mine seems to be holding up, but I did get it when I got the dresser, so its suspect.

Grabbed some groceries and a sushi lunch at Whole Foods - first time eating sushi by myself, which was an adventure. Socks at TJ Maxx and bug spray for the missions trip at Target and then it was time to lug everything upstairs and get ready for work. Which is what I have to do again now.


Time for Thursday linkery...like good ol times.

How to beat pac-man for good.

Guess where I'll be August 4th.

The best show on TV is on the web this summer.

How do you steal a bike in NYC? Any way you want.

Apparently we're killing the bees that make our food supply possible. Great. In other news, I'm investigating a career in bee-keeping.

A riveting slide-show from the New Yorker - letters read by those serving in Iraq. Part of a preview for a new book compiled of the same, which I will be picking up.

I got another hit on a Where's George bill. So far its been a very underwhelming site for me.

Peanut Gallery - MST3K your own movies - brilliant!

Things I figured out. Ok, not me, but other people.

What makes women happy. I like how it doesn't even really answer the question definitively.

I want a Firefox extension to...

New York Brain Terrain

Wine Log

There, that gets me back to only one line of tabs open in Firefox. That's what we call progress these days.


4:04 AM. I don't even know what day it is anymore.

The US Postal Service's largest processing facility is located in Secaucus, NJ. On top of a majority of the domestic mail sent throughout the northeast, it manages all international and military mail, coming in or out of the the entire eastern half of the states. That means trucks. Trucks from other postal facilites. Trucks from the piers. Trucks from the airports. Trucks from the trains. Trucks. Thousands of them. Actually only the trailer parts. Technically the truck is the tractor part that pulls the trailer, and the trailer is the part that the trucks drop off here, full of mail waiting to be processed and reinserted into another empty trailer. So, thousands of trailers. Less trucks.

Anyway. We're here putting in a new system to track them, or something. All I know is that these are the worst hours I've ever worked in my life, ever. This week has been 7pm-7am shifts, which always turn out to be a good deal longer than 12 hours. And that's about all I have to say about it.

So...since sis was in town for the holiday...I really don't remember much besides work. Sundays after church we've been having our prep meetings for the missions trip, and this past Friday was the annual Dorney Park trip, but other than that its all been a big blur of work.

Speaking of the missions trip, you can help support me by praying for me - I'll be helping lead the youth group as we help rebuild in New Orlean's 9th Ward area from August 12th through the 19th. You can also help support me with your wallet, here (you'll find my name in the drop-down under the "Katrina Youth Team" section).

I'm thankful even in this valley of overworkingness for good friends and kind words and providential encounters of late that have all combined to reignite my desire to investigate pursuing an MDiv in the near future. Even if I do make my promotion - perhaps especially if I make it - next month, I think I will be filling out paperwork and visiting a few schools. I'm not saying that my mind has been made up, and there certainly needs to be a good deal more prayer - and likely a concerted effort at a return to daily writing for a number of months - but I suppose I am starting to lean more heavily in that direction.

Three more nights of getting home and having breakfast before passing out for a few hours of tortured daytime sleep and then I'm off for the weekend. Maybe blog then. Doubt it. And I want an MBA again because why?

They say that when a man faces his destiny, his destiny ends, and he becomes the man that he really is. - Mos Def, as Eddie Bunker in 16 Blocks


Time for another clearing of the firefox tabs and general excusing of myself for not posting much at all lately. In that order, this evening.

You can pay money to see this guy shock himself with a dog collar. The internet yet again bestows another manifold blessing upon us. You can also pay to have him not shock himself, in which case you are the one that should be shocked.

The Downtown Boathouse puts on free kayaking on the Hudson for people on the weekends and holidays during the summers, and its all volunteer run/funded. I'm out of town in DC this weekend, but I hope to volunteer with them some this summer, at some point. Meanwhile, if you're a cute, single gal in DC, this weekend is your big chance to meet the Daves (however I'll be the only single one, this time).

In other free-in-NYC-during-the-summer-news, Philharmonic in the Park. I'll be there on the 12th. Ladies of NYC, this is your big chance.


Your morbid link of the day is last words from pilots of downed planes.

The Modern List could have been a cool site if it wasn't so freaking small.

Scary because its true

The Great New Wonderful might be as close as I'll ever come to watching a movie that has anything whatsoever to do with 9/11.

This is the only online apparition of that French cafe I had brunch at a couple of weeks ago that I've been able to find. Apparently its remained completely unlisted elsewhere - impressive.

Best burgers in the city (shake shack dropped to like 6th!).

Funny how this one didn't make very big waves in the media, huh?

OK, that was as far as I was able to get before I had to leave for our farewell dinner for the seniors in the youth group. Always a bittersweet event - and it always makes me feel older, like a parent sending their child off to college, in a sense. Except I get to do it every year. It was at Jerry's in Soho, which despite the external facade has great ambiance inside, complemented by equally above-par service. Food didn't really do it for me, though.

Worked in the West Village office today - glad to be back there in a sense, I really love that area. I just wish it was filled with more single women and fewer gay men, but we can't have our cake and eat it too, I guess.

Had a good holiday weekend. Friday was quiet. Saturday was helping a friend with way too many material belongings move to Hoboken, and then golfing with Ko that afternoon. I hit par on the second hole - that's all I have to say about that. Sunday I caught church and then brunch with 'tina - a friend from Grover days. Then off to JFK via train to pick up Margy. I left my super-umbrella on the subway, garh, but at least Margy showed up dressed in all black with black luggage - I was so impressed, what with her looking for all the world like a local. We caught the evening service, I was able to introduce her to Pastor K on his way out, and then we caught a ride back to the boken. Monday we biked to the ferry, up the west side highway, did the free kayaks, biked the loop in the park, back to the WSH, back over by ferry, back home. It was a blast, but it was hot out so we were wiped out after. Sushi dinner late with the roommate - I have officially inducted sushi - well, the tamer forms of it - into the hall of foods Dave will eat. That leaves pretty much everything but things that are alive, things that are a bug, things that are eyeballs, and Ethiopian food still outside the hall.

For the fourth we were quite patriotic, we got up early and took sis to the Statue of Liberty, which is like my 9 billionth time there, but its not something that's easy to do without a local - takes about 9 billion times as long - so I don't mind tour guiding. Then a BBQ with some of the old Hoboken church kids, and then sis dragged me down to the waterfront to watch the fireworks. I am getting old - for the first time I actually wanted to watch them from my deck.

Put her on a plane Weds. morning and it was back to work for me.

So, there you have it - a real blog post. Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow.


Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Abraham Lincoln
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
November 19, 1863